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Proximity Analysis

Everything is usually related to all else but those which are near to each other are more related when compared to those that are further away

-The first law of geography, Waldo Tobler

Proximity analysis is one of the most common types of spatial analysis. This analysis enables users to explore the spatial relationships between features such as finding the nearest hospital during an emergency, locating the nearest COVID-19 testing sites, or finding the shortest route to school. There are many different ways to analyze the relationships between selected features. For instance, you may want to measure the distance between features along a ‘straight-line’, or the distance may be constrained by a road network. You might want to learn how many points fall within a specified radius or which features are closest to a referenced location. Throughout this lesson, we’ll explore a few techniques including straight-line distance and network distance, as well as one-to-one and one-to-many distance analyses.


  • Identify and describe 4 different types of proximity analysis
  • Use Mapbox GL JS and turf.js to implement 2 of the proximity analyses learned in this lesson
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